Find a Home

Important changes to Derby Homefinder: Email address required

We are moving onto a new IT system on 28 January 2019 and you will need an email address to continue to access your housing application and to search/bid for properties.

If you already have an email address

If you already have an active housing application and an email address, you just need to update your details in your application. Please login to your application and add your email address as soon as possible.

If you don't have an email address

If you need to create an email address, don’t worry, it is quick and easy to do. There are lots of free email providers online. Search for, “set up a free secure email account”.

If you’re not sure which to choose, here’s a good article to get you started: The 7 Best Free Email Accounts and Service Providers for 2019

Signing up is normally straightforward and you are guided through the process. If you need help, here are three; “how-to” videos to show you how to sign up for popular email services:

Don’t forget to update your housing application with your email address once you've got your email account.

If you do not have a rehousing application yet, you will need to make sure you have an email address and include the details when registering.

If you need any help please contact us on 01332 640085 or email us at

If you don't update your application with an email address before the 28 January, you won't be able access Derby Homefinder. Instead, you'll need to register to our MyAccount service.


What housing options are there in Derby?

We manage and maintain around 13,700 properties, of which just under 13,000 are owned by Derby City Council. These homes are only available to people who are registered on Derby Homefinder. Derby Homefinder is the central housing register for social housing in Derby and includes homes available to rent from Derby City Council, Derby Homes and a number of other registered providers (housing associations) in the city. These homes, along with those owned by private landlords, make up the bulk of properties available to rent in Derby.

  • Renting from a private landlord
  • Buying a property
  • Renting a home from the council or a housing association
  • Swapping your home through mutual exchange

Renting from a private landlord

There are very few properties available through social housing, so most people are more likely to find a new home by renting from a private landlord.

There is a dedicated page on the Derby Homefinder site on renting from private landlords.

If you are on a low income and looking for private properties to rent, you may be able to get help through either:

  • the Bond Assurance Scheme. This scheme can help with a deposit for a private landlord for those people who are struggling to get a private property because they can’t afford a deposit.
  • the Rent In Advance Scheme. This scheme can pay up to a months rent in advance for customers who receive or who will receive Housing Benefit.


Buying a property

The 'Help to Buy' is a scheme funded by central government that's designed to help people buy their own home. For more information, visit the Help to Buy website.

Secure Council and Housing Association tenants can find general information about Right to Buy and Right to Acquire schemes that they may be able to apply for. 

Buying a house is a big step and it's important to consider all of the advantages and disadvantages before making a decision. It can also be a great investment and allows you more flexibility, but with renting there's the option of housing benefit if you fall on hard times, and a maintenance programme.


Swapping your home through Mutual exchange

'Derby Home Swap' is a local mutual exchange scheme that allows Council and Housing Association tenants to swap properties. Find more information on the Derby Home Swap website.

'HomeSwapper' is a national scheme that lets other council and housing association tenants know you would like to exchange your home. Visit the HomeSwapper website for more information.


Social housing

There is a very limited number of council/housing association properties available to rent in Derby. There are always more people wanting housing than properties available. The Council has a policy that explains how we decide who needs housing most urgently.  

Complete the online assessment form to:

  • get housing advice
  • find out if you would be suitable to go on the Housing Register for 'council housing' and housing through some Housing Associations.

If you are suitable to go on the register, we will let you know how to book an appointment to speak to one of our Housing Advisors, and complete an application. and placed in the Emergency or Housing Needs Band. 


Registering with other councils

You can apply to get on the Housing Register of any council in the country, but each will have its own policy on allocating housing. Find out more from the council in the area you wish to move to. Visit the website to find contact details for all councils.


Advice we offer for people looking for housing

Our Housing Options Centre offers information and advice on the different ways of getting housing, including:

  • renting from private landlords and other ways of getting housing
  • illegal eviction and harassment
  • landlord and tenant responsibilities
  • applying for council housing (also called ‘social housing’) by putting in an application for the Housing Register - we will advise you if this is the right option to meet your housing needs
  • accommodation for older people
  • support for young people (age 16 to 18) leaving home for the first time
  • support for people who are experiencing, or at risk of, domestic violence
  • support for people who are homeless or threatened with homelessness. 


How is council housing allocated in Derby?

Derby City Council's Housing Allocation Policy explains how housing through the Council and partner housing providers is allocated. It does this through a 'banding' system that identifies people’s housing needs and sets out the sort of properties they could apply for.

Some housing providers in Derby provide accommodation for older people, others for families and single people. Most allocate their properties through Derby Homefinder. This is the service we run to help people who are on the Housing Register to find and bid for properties provided by the Council or housing associations.

Find out which housing providers are part of Derby Homefinder.

You can contact the Housing Options Centre to: 

  • discuss your housing situation and find out about the full range of housing options available to you
  • get advice about whether applying to get on the Housing Register is the right option for you. If it is, we will make an appointment for you to fill in a Housing Register application form.


What happens if I'm told that applying for the Housing Register is the right housing option for me?

We will assess your completed Housing Register application form in line with our Housing Allocation Policy. We base our assessment on all of the information you give us on the application form. We will write to confirm that your application is 'active' and tell you what 'band' of housing need you have.   

Derby Homefinder Landlords advertise their properties to rent on Derby Homefinder and also use the policy to allocate them. 

Find more information, see Housing Allocation Policy and how properties are allocated.

Please see below for opening times of the Housing Options Centre. 

We are closed on public holidays, and also for the period between Christmas and New Year.